The Sunday Times says

Relevant tweaks to stay top of the class

Singapore's education system has rightly been celebrated over the years. It has produced students who frequently top world rankings in terms of reading, writing and arithmetic skills. But this success had a price and many have grumbled about the emphasis on academic excellence, sometimes to the detriment of more intangible values. Pivoting is no easy task, but Singapore has slowly, but surely, been doing so. A slew of new imperatives were outlined by Education Minister Lawrence Wong in Parliament last week, ranging from equipping students with more than just book knowledge and supporting learners at all levels. The broadening of emphasis is welcome. The post-independence education system was geared towards economic utility - parents saw a good education as a surefire route to financial security, and the Government saw it as the best way to maximise a limited resource. But the demands of the new economy these days have meant that book-based learning is no longer a silver bullet.

New generations must be equipped with different skill sets to survive and thrive. They have different expectations too and the system now is geared to also support expectations for personal development and fulfilment. Education is also the means to address concerns about diversity, meritocracy and inequality. Changes, such as subject-based banding and the new PSLE scoring system, have been implemented with these aims in mind. Covid-19, which forced home-based learning and showed up inequities of access, has been a blessing in disguise, showing gaps that resource-rich Singapore can now plug to ensure no child is left behind. These tweaks can ensure the education system can stay at the top of the class.

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